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The Definitive "Community Feedback on Touch Screen Interface Suggestions" Thread.

IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
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*** PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE POSTING. ***
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http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/22767/regarding-touch-gestures

As seen in the link above, one of our brethren on this forum asked the question "Has the community given it's feedback on the Touch Screen Interface and Enhancements to it" and while I answered "yes" to this question, we've never done a consolidated community suggestion thread for the Touchscreen Interface.

And then I realized, as I am a Beta Tester and DO have access to make suggestions and requests, maybe I should just facilitate a discussion on enhancements to the touch interface. So that's what this is. As with my "Known Bugs" post, I'd like to lay out a few rules of Engagement before opening the discussion:

1) This is NOT the place to **complain** about the interface. If you're just dying to tell everyone how crappy you think the iPad interface is, find one of the other multitude of threads to complain in...or start a new one. This thread is for suggesting changes and additional functionality. The difference is "When I drag the screen it registers a tap and my characters move...WAHHHH!" vs. "Because of the Tap/Drag/Move issue, I recommend Tap/Drag become a two finger drag while 1 finger is ONLY used for tapping."

2) This is NOT the place to report bugs about the current interface. If current functionality doesn't work (such as the bug about tapping the open bag button really closing the bag), please register that in the "Known Bugs" thread stickied at the top of this forum. Again, this is for ENHANCEMENTS or MODIFICATIONS to the interface.

3) This IS the place to request new functionality out of the interface or to request changing a gesture to make the interface run better.

4) This IS a discussion thread. Feel free to disagree with suggestions (NICELY) but try to add your own suggested solution. If you know something doesn't work, feel free to say that, but it's MUCH BETTER if you say not only that something doesn't work but here's what does.

5) Please disagree with the IDEAS not the PEOPLE. No one is an idiot because they suggested a 5 finger drag or something the iPad can't do for an event. Please be Respectful when disagreeing.

6) Please try to stay on topic. That will help me keep the ideas consolidated.

7) If you have iOS Development Experience and know something will or will not work, or you have better insight into the discussion at hand, please label yourself as such. The more "Experts" we can get on a thread, the better. That said, if you do NOT have experience or are just guessing at something please DO NOT label yourself as knowledgeable. Suggesting changes that cannot be executed because they're not possible will not get changes made to the interface.

8) Features that already exist in the Windows/Mac version of the game but do not have a corresponding Gesture on the iPad will be more likely to be implemented than requests for additional game functionality. Both types of suggestions have their place in this thread, but the more focus we can put on existing functionality than new functionality, the more suggestions will get looked at.

Please understand, I HAVE NO PULL WITH THE DEVELOPERS. I am facilitating this discussion so I can put in some consolidated tickets regarding the touch screen interface for the project staff to look at and decided what to do with. THERE IS *NO GUARANTEE* THAT ANYTHING HERE WILL EVER GET IMPLEMENTED. This is all, in essence, unasked for suggestions and advice.

That said, if we, as a community, can agree on simple modifications and/or additional gestures for features that are already implemented (I would use "waypoints" as an example here), I think there is a strong reason for the developers to look at an interface pass, specifically since that would benefit both the iPad version of BG2:EE and the Android versions of both BG:EE and BG2:EE.

You all have been AWESOME with the Known Bugs thread in not mucking it up with useless chatter. Please take the same care here, and we may be able to get some good enhancements into our beloved iPad version of the games.

JalilyVintrastormJuliusBorisovjackjackfamousringoCrevsDaak
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Comments

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    edited November 2013
    Topics Under Discussion and Suggested Changes:

    UPDATE: 11/8: I've gone through the thread and pulled most of the discussion to here:

    Gestures Discussed (See Notes Below)
    ---------------------------------------
    One Finger Tap + Release: Move* (Left Click)
    One Finger Tap + Drag: Scroll Map/Screen* (Left Click and Drag)
    One Finger Long Tap: Set Waypoint (Shift-Left Click)
    One Finger Long Tap + Second Finger Swipe: Set Party Orientation (Release to Move)** (Right Click and Drag)
    Two Finger Tap and Rotate: Set Party Orientation***

    Concepts Discussed
    ----------------------------------------
    Selecting More Than One Party Member at a Time: New Idea - Two Finger Tap on Portrait****

    Add AoE VIsibility to Spells (Two Options):
    * Long Tap to show AoE Radius, Release to Cast
    * Tap to Show AoE Radius, Tap Again to Cast.

    Help Mode: Create a button that would implement the "Hints" button along with allowing the user to drag over / tap objects that would act like a hover over. This would implement a "mode" that would remove normal gestures (like tap and drag), pause the game, and allow users to either drag their finger over the screen (as with a mouse) or tap on an object to get it's pop up (like hover). I envision a "mode" implementation of Tab being held down...tap the button and the game is paused, tab is "turned on" and taps produce hover effects.

    Change Dialog Selection: A request has been made to implement dialog selection either as a set of buttons on the screen or as a UI Picker Object (drop down list box).

    NOTES:
    ------------------------------------------
    * The consensus seems to be "Fix it, it's broken" instead of "Change it to make it better". Given that someone said @Dee has already said there will be fixes to this in the upcoming patch, I think this one can be back burnered at this point till 1.2.0 hits the iPad and we see where we're at.

    ** Is there a conflict with Shift-Left Click and Right Click/Drag in this case?

    *** The question of a starting location would be handled by the first finger that hits the screen or a midpoint between the two fingers.

    **** So for Multiple Party Select, Could You do Two Finger Tap on a portrait to act like Shift-Click (select multiple) while 1 finger tap on a portrait would clear all selection and select only that portrait (like a standard Left Click). This also has play with Waypoints. If Two Finger Tap on a Portrait = Shift Left Clicking the portrait, could Two Finger tap on the interface = Waypoint? (Shift Left-Click)

    Post edited by Illydth on
  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    I'll start this out with two topics that could use some discussion:

    The first is whether the Drag of the Main Screen (where the Players are) by Tap/Drag could use a different gesture than "Tap/Drag" which also seems to register as a "tap" a lot of the time by the interface.

    The Second is what gesture we might be able to use for "Waypoint" functionality. In the Windows Version of the game you can (I think?) Shift-Click on several points on the map and the PC's will walk exactly to those points in order of being clicked. This functionality doesn't exist on the iPad due to no shift key. Is there a gesture that we could apply here?

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    DISCLAIMER: I doin't actually own BG:EE on ipad. My friend does and sometimes I use his.


    I had a lot of trouble actually making double clicks on the ipad. It might just be that I haven't gotten the technique just yet, but I almost always managed to move my finger a wee bit for the second tap, but enough to register it as a new tap instead of a double tap. There might also be a tap-speed issue.

    I haven't found a specific use for long tapping on the Main screen/game screen/game map (where the characters are and the action takes place) so I have a suggestion for long pressing.

    Now:
    One tap = move
    Double tap = center map on click area.

    Future:
    One tap = move
    Long tap = center map

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    edited October 2013
    Illydth said:

    I'll start this out with two topics that could use some discussion:

    The first is whether the Drag of the Main Screen (where the Players are) by Tap/Drag could use a different gesture than "Tap/Drag" which also seems to register as a "tap" a lot of the time by the interface.

    The Second is what gesture we might be able to use for "Waypoint" functionality. In the Windows Version of the game you can (I think?) Shift-Click on several points on the map and the PC's will walk exactly to those points in order of being clicked. This functionality doesn't exist on the iPad due to no shift key. Is there a gesture that we could apply here?

    Regarding the first topic I'm not really sure I understand it.

    For the second topics you mention long taps could be an alternative there rather than the centering that I mentioned.

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    When playing on an iPad, it's common to "accidentally" move your party members when dragging the main map screen. This is because a drag gesture also includes a finger touching the screen which is usually registered as a tap. As you play the game on the iPad it becomes easier to recognize how NOT to produce the tap result with a drag, but it still can be difficult. In the past there have been suggestions to change what is used to move the map around from tap/drag to something else, like 2 finger drag for instance...this would get around the tap/drag registering a tap (and thus a move).

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    edited October 2013
    Ah, that happened to me a few times. I think that a 2 finger drag would be excellent. 2 finger drag is used to scroll on macbooks trackpad nowadays and it's been working great for me.


    EDIT: A way to implement party formation direction (Formation Rotation) would be nice too.

    Post edited by Vintrastorm on
    alnair
  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    @Vintrastorm: What Gesture would you recommend?

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    edited October 2013
    @Illydth I don't know yet. I'm trying to figure out if/how it needs to be connected to tap=move. I mean, on PC you put a center point when you click. A tap(don't release)+ use other finger to drag could activate it. And unless you release both fingers it won't activate so you can simply drag again and again, rotating the party formation.

    However since regular drag sometimes seemed to activate tap instead, it might be a an occasional interference if a tap+other finger tap would be implemented for some reason.

    Also, using longtap to put outwaypoints could mean that you accidently move before using the other finger and activating Formation Rotation. (But longtap for move markers might only activate upon release of longtap, indicating that a waypoiny has been set with, for example, a light blue move symbol)

    EDIT: (Besides, IIRC in bg2 waypoints blinked a bit while normal move markers didn't.)

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    edited October 2013
    Ok, now I've sorted it through.

    Tap+release=move

    Longtap+release=waypoint+move when released

    Longtap+drag/swipe+release =waypoint + activate Formation Rotation (FR) with drag/swipe. (The waypoint is also centerpoint for FR). FR circles around centerpoint while dragging/swiping. Release sets the formation (probably as waypoints and activates a move action)

    (While two finger rotate might seem like a good gesture to use here you'd somehow have to set a centerpoint for the rotation, I don't know if that's possible and how it would work with two finger rotate)


    EDIT: (Longtap=waypoint would only be applicable it longpress is on a viable "move to" area, i.e the ground. If a longpress is done on an object that can be interacted with (for example creature or chest) longpress=right click)


    Also:

    Unless I'm the only one having trouble with double clicking to center map this might be an alternate solution.

    Tap(hold)+very quickly tap with 2nd finger(release both)=todays double click=move+center screen on move marker which is set by the first tap.


    It's similar to the 2 fingers=right click on macbooks trackpads. (I've noticed that 2 fingers at the same time makes a right click on my 2012 trackpad but back in 2008 IIRC you hade to do a quick "tap(hold)+tap other finger (release both)" to get a right click.)

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    edited October 2013
    This thread discusses the same subject and inspiration and ideas can be found there as well: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/14734/looking-for-information-from-ipad-bg-ee-owners

    This link, that was originally posted in above thread, gives a few gesture suggestions:
    http://www.gemrb.org/wiki/doku.php?id=input:touch


    For example, I like these two:
    Keyboard show/hide: swipe up with 3 fingers to show; down to hide.
    Console pop: swipe up with 3 fingers with the keyboard already showing.

    (CLUAConsole/Debug mode in the .ini file could, perhaps, be activated by default or in game options)

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    A problem with gestures are that they are limited to what's supported by the ipad. Are different ipads limited to different gestures? Are some gestureactions going to be exclusive? What actions aren't nessecarily necessary? For example formation rotation isn't critical to the game so if the gesture that uses it is only available on, for example, ipad 3 and up those with earlier ipads could still be able to play the game.

    Well... I think my ipad ideas are all out. I'll check back later or tomorrow. Good night. :)

  • nsrnsr Member Posts: 174
    Any suggested solutions for selecting party members? Right now the options are:
    a) Click each individual portrait on the right side
    b) Use the drag tool to select the characters on the screen
    c) Use the "select all" button to select everyone

    I have never used option (b) since I found it very imprecise. After playing the desktop version, I found that you can use the number keys on the keyboard to select subsets of your party. This is useful if I want to order the first 3 members of my party into melee range without moving the archers/spell-casters.

    Some possibilities I thought up:
    1) Allow drag-select of multiple party members when you touch and drag their portrait
    2) Create buttons like the "select all" button that correspond to the keyboard shortcuts on desktops

    My solutions aren't great since for #1, drag on a portrait is already used to re-order the party, and for #2, there's not that much screen real-estate to add buttons. So hopefully someone has better ideas.

    famousringo
  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    The tap/drag conflict (both in the game and in the menus, specifically when you need to scroll a list of tappable items) is something that should be fixed with #1 priority.
    AoE spells should work in two taps: show aoe on the first tap, and release the spell on the second one.

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    iKrivetko said:


    AoE spells should work in two taps: show aoe on the first tap, and release the spell on the second one.

    (Just a note: This is a feature that doesn't exist in any version of BG:EE. AoE has always been an estimation, or "learning by doing" thing.)

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    @iKrivetko: What is your recommendation for breaking the tap/drag conflict?

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    It's hard to prescribe a cure without knowing what the illness is. Judging by the look of things, they are registering movement/tap commands on a "on finger down" event, whilst it should happen on a "on finger up" event, if the finger hasn't moved.

  • EketEket Member Posts: 69
    edited November 2013
    There are a number of solutions for the tap/drag conflict.

    1) Change it to a double tap. It's possible to detect this with the UIGestureRecogniser
    2) You can change it to using two fingers to do a drag
    3) A slightly more complicated solution would be a change in tolerance, for example waiting a second before registering the tap
    4) another solution would be to detect if a drag has occurred before doing the tap event. You can register when a finger touches the screen and when the touch has ended, if it ends very fast you can say it was a tap.

    I think solution 3 or 4 would work best. I am not an ios developer but i have been a developer for about 5 years. These are the solutions i would look into.

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    Eket said:

    There are a number of solutions for the tap/drag conflict.

    1) Change it to a double tap. It's possible to detect this with the UIGestureRecogniser
    2) You can change it to using two fingers to do a drag
    3) A slightly more complicated solution would be a change in tolerance, for example waiting a second before registering the tap
    4) another solution would be to detect if a drag has occurred before doing the tap event. You can register when a finger touches the screen and when the touch has ended, if it ends very fast you can say it was a tap.

    I think solution 3 or 4 would work best. I am not an ios developer but i have been a developer for about 5 years. These are the solutions i would look into.

    Why would the two seemingly more complicated methods work better than 2 finger drag? This would solve the entire issue and you wouldn't have to wait a second before registering tap. Tapping is done very often and having to wait for each tap to register would mean considerably longer time spent waiting.

  • EketEket Member Posts: 69
    edited November 2013
    In solution 3 a second is the wrong measurement probably a few milliseconds would be enough.

    In solution 4 you would not wait a second. It would accurately detect if you were tapping or dragging. If you decide to drag the screen you would physically touch the device longer than tapping it. It is possible to figure out how long a touch event is.

  • mars0124mars0124 Member Posts: 180
    I'd still like to see the pause button moved to be thumbs accessible while holding the iPad upright... And not just with the cruddy pseudo-mod that I did.

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    edited November 2013
    All Excellent Suggestions, I'll try to get these compiled together into a new "starting point" for continuing the discussion. Check back 11/4 in the afternoon sometime for an updated set of what's been discussed. Till then, keep adding!

  • BeridelBeridel Member Posts: 35
    Regarding conversations and selecting CHARNAME's reponse:
    One thing that I REALLY liked from the KOTOR iPad port is how instead of trying to highlight the response listing itself in the dialog box, there was a series of finger-sized circles on the right-hand side of the screen corresponding to the possible responses and you selected your response from there. When your fingers are big and the font size is small, selecting responses can sometimes be a pain.

    It could perhaps work for BGEE by putting those circles on the bottom of the screen during dialog (the right-hand side wouldn't work with the portraits. We could even replace the "continue dialog" button (when there are no responses to select but you have to click to continue the conversation) with a similar finger-sized circle to keep the UI consistent.

    alnairIllustairdavemo
  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    If I were to implement a feature like that, I'd use something like the UIPickerView instead of the buttons.

    Beridelalnair
  • ljboljbo Member Posts: 177
    In Avadon, from Spiderweb Software, sliding one finger pans the view whereas taping with one finger set character(s) into motion toward the point that was tapped. Thus imho there is no need to change the current design of BG:EE on iPad. It seems to be an implementation issue to me.

    Actually, a week back or so, I had asked whether we should expect an improvement, tagging Dee, who answered affirmatively. I am pretty sure the devs know the problem and how to fix it, since as exemplified by Avadon, which is also an ol' school RPG, there is a way to make it work as it is right now.

  • BeridelBeridel Member Posts: 35
    iKrivetko said:

    If I were to implement a feature like that, I'd use something like the UIPickerView instead of the buttons.

    I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing it's a standard BG button! So in that case, I wholeheartedly agree!

  • VintrastormVintrastorm Member Posts: 216
    I'd still like to promote the 2 finger scrolling.

    It works great on trackpads, it works great in browsers, why not use 2 finger sliding/scrolling in BG:EE? It also frees you from trying to get the 1 finger sliding to work flawlessly with 1 finger tap and frees up the 1 finger sliding for other uses (for example working with Party Formation Rotation)

    Beridelalnair
  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    Beridel said:

    iKrivetko said:

    If I were to implement a feature like that, I'd use something like the UIPickerView instead of the buttons.

    I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing it's a standard BG button! So in that case, I wholeheartedly agree!
    image

    Beridellolien
  • BeridelBeridel Member Posts: 35
    iKrivetko said:

    image

    That would definitely be fancy. +1

  • ljboljbo Member Posts: 177

    I'd still like to promote the 2 finger scrolling.

    -1

    There are two strong reasons to keep one finger scrolling imho:
    • this is the most frequent action and it should therefore be the simplest gesture;
    • one finger scrolling is the standard gesture for that purpose across all apps on iOS.
    A good illustration of the last point is Apple Maps or Google Maps: one finger scrolling and tap to interact with elements of the map. Another illustration of the fact that the current design is not flawed. Only its implementation.

    As for the 2 missing features on the iPad, I'd make the following suggestions:
    • Waypoints: they could be set by a longer tap, with a normal (i.e. quicker) tap at the end to set characters into motion;
    • Rotating party: most clearly the two-finger rotation here; it may adversely interfere with two-finger pinch for zooming in and out but that could still be manageable.

  • famousringofamousringo Member Posts: 28
    nsr said:

    Any suggested solutions for selecting party members? Right now the options are:
    a) Click each individual portrait on the right side
    b) Use the drag tool to select the characters on the screen
    c) Use the "select all" button to select everyone

    I have never used option (b) since I found it very imprecise. After playing the desktop version, I found that you can use the number keys on the keyboard to select subsets of your party. This is useful if I want to order the first 3 members of my party into melee range without moving the archers/spell-casters.

    Some possibilities I thought up:
    1) Allow drag-select of multiple party members when you touch and drag their portrait
    2) Create buttons like the "select all" button that correspond to the keyboard shortcuts on desktops

    My solutions aren't great since for #1, drag on a portrait is already used to re-order the party, and for #2, there's not that much screen real-estate to add buttons. So hopefully someone has better ideas.

    This is one of two key pain points for me. I actually don't think solution 1 is too bad, since its very uncommon for me to re-order my party whereas I want multiple (but not all) units to attack the same target almost every encounter. Re-ordering the party can be assigned a more arcane interaction, but I think a long press, followed by a drag to the new position would work best.

    But a drag-select might not be the best solution, either. Suppose I want character 1, 4, 5 and 6, to attack one foe while 2 and 3 engage another? I think multitouch might work better for this. A single tap on a portrait would select one character, a short tap and drag would select the dragged characters, a long tap and drag would select and re-order that character, and a multi-finger tap would select the tapped characters.

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